Lodz is a city which rich textile traditions, famous for being one of the largest Polish industry centers. Today, unfortunately, it looks a bit different. The city itself does not have such a strong textile nature as in the past, the number of orders in sewing rooms rapidly dropping, leading to each of work for all decrease in wages for their hard work. What is more this industry must also face dynamic changes in trends fashion.
Many people keep old clothes that cling nostalgically in the closet, deceiving that one day they will return to being fashionable and so they lie unused.
Enactus team of Lodz University came up with the idea to change this situation – while helping the environment through recycling operation. With such thinking “ReFashion project” combines new creative ideas – recycling, upcycling, offering products which will meet market demands
Similarly as with other projects the team start working by simply talking with people. Students from Lodz University talked with numerous tailors, student and professional designers, searching for a design that will be fashionable and align with current trends, use secondary materials to increase in the income for dressmakers.
To enable a real change in the financial situation of tailors not only a good vision was needed but also professional support in all the practical aspects. The team involved students and high school kids to collect old denim trousers, in order to use them as material to produce new products – sack-backpacks. In order to ensure adequate job opportunities and proper coordination of tasks, the group collaborated with sewing rooms. Many legal advisers and entrepreneurs helped to create a proper business model. To gain logistical and distribution support the team invited Bagabaga shop has to become a major business partner of the project.
To reach many customers with the final product a strong marketing action was necessary. The project team was able to engage professional photographers and models. Important aspects of the promotion, were presentation of the project was possible included important fashion events, such as the biggest event in Poland – Fashion Philosophy Fashion Week Poland.
The project also gained a lot of media interest (a popular radio, television and Internet services) as well as support of the Mayor of the City of Lodz – Hanna Zdanowska.
ReFashion project brought a real change and helped many tailors from city of Lodz. Today participation in the project 5 seamstresses receives an additional earnings from sales of bags (each bag made brings 20 zł to seamstress)
Large promotional actions and media support enable to reach a large group of customers.
These are mostly young people who, thanks to this initiative learn more about recycling and a fair trade. Customers know what they are buying and who created the product. You can personalize your bag by giving your trousers from which it will be made.
The additional actions of pants rebounds, hundreds of useless clothes got a new life and serve others.
Part of the income from the bags goes to Lodz Foundation “DOM” helping children.
The Enactus project team from Lodz University improves the financial situation of dressmakers, increases their confidence in their private and professional lives and contributes to the environmental protection and educates the public on upcycling.